Leaf Team

Our dedicated team members are here to provide support, compassion, and information to help you through your journey of grief and the celebration of your loved one’s life.

Leaf Cremation of Georgia

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Brookle Hicks Funeral Director | Leaf Arrangement Team brookle@leafcremation.com

Brookle was born in Marietta, Georgia to parents Clifford & Tammy Hicks.  She attended Sprayberry High School and shortly before graduating she turned her attention to the funeral service industry.  Brookle’s grandmother who she shared a close bond with passed away when Brookle was only 16 and her death led Brookle’s heart towards serving others in the funeral industry.

Upon graduating High School Brookle enrolled at Ogeechee Technical College’s Funeral Service Program.  She graduated from there in December of 2010 and after serving an apprenticeship obtained her funeral director and embalmer’s licenses in August of 2012.  In 2014 Brookle obtained her life insurance license in order to sell preneed insurance policies.  She is also certified as a crematory operator.  Before joining Leaf Brookle worked in the Marietta, Kennesaw and Acworth areas for over 13 years serving the community she grew up in. Brookle looks forward to continuing to serve families at Leaf.

She has been a life-long member at Piedmont Road Church of Christ in Marietta.  She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and she loves watching the Georgia Bulldogs play football.  Brookle is an animal lover and currently resides in Canton with her family and her dog Rawley.

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Bryan Guzman Leaf Arrangement Team Leader bryan@leafcremation.com

I have been with Leaf Cremation since 2016, and I am passionate about helping families honor their loved ones. I graduated from Kennesaw State University with a bachelors in Social Sciences. I enjoy my off time attending ATL United games, and spending time with my wife, family and friends. I am honored to be able to be a part of a great team here at Leaf, who take serving each family to a whole new level and serve with the utmost dignity, professionalism, respect, compassion and personalized service. We are here to help, however and whenever you need.

 

Certified Crematory Operator

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Hunter Baggett Leaf Arrangement Team hunterb@leafcremation.com

Hunter grew up in Hoschton, GA and graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Science degree. He has 3 years of service working for Chick-fil-A, and two years in a leadership role. He enjoys time off by attending Atlanta Braves games, watching football (GO DAWGS!), and being with family and friends. Hunter looks forward to helping families through a difficult time, by making the arrangements of your loved one easy and effortlessly.

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Todd Presley Leaf Arrangement Team todd@leafcremation.com

Hello! My name is Todd, and I was born and raised with love in Newnan, GA. I graduated from Newnan High and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of West Georgia. In my free time I enjoy being in nature and spending quality time with the people I love.

I'm lucky to have found Leaf Cremation, and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to make end-of-life planning as effortless as possible for those experiencing a loss. I’m here to help and hope to make a difference.

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Mac Dempsey Advance Planning Specialist Mac@leafcremation.com

Mac Dempsey graduated from Western Governors University with a degree in Marketing. He is the son of Clift Dempsey, owner of Leaf Cremation. He has a passion for serving families and dedicates himself to mak a positive impact on their lives. In his time off, Mac enjoys playing tennis, pickleball, and hanging out with family and friends.

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Kerry Bender Crematory Operator

Kerry is Leaf's primary Certified Cremator Operator.  Serving families and their loved ones with the utmost care and dignity.

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Doug Owens Leaf Transport Specialist

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Kyle Gross Community Relations Advisor kyle@leafcremation.com

Kyle serves as our Community Relations Advisor helping Hospices and other end-of-life facilities with the transfer of care to Leaf. He is a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Kyle also serves in the Army National Guard. He is married to Trisha and has two sons, Jonathan and William.

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Pierce Dempsey Vice President of Operations & Marketing pierce@leafcremation.com

Pierce graduated with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Family Business May of 2019 from Auburn University.  He is the son of Clift Dempsey, owner of Leaf Cremation.  Pierce has a passion for serving families, and is trained as a certified crematory operator, cremation arranger, and cremation administrator. In his time off, Pierce enjoys playing golf and spending time at the beach. Pierce and his wife, Ashley, are members of Mount Vernon Baptist Church. Pierce and Ashley celebrated the birth of their son this year!  

 

Certified Crematory Operator

 

 

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Nick Startup Vice President of Human Resources

Nick is a graduate of the University of Georgia and started working in the Cemetery Industry with Clift Dempsey in 2010.  He is a Past President and current Treasurer of the Georgia Cemetery Association and also serves as a Director for the Southern Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association.  He has been involved with Leaf Cremation since its inception and is proud to be a part of such a wonderful team that serves families with kindness and compassion. Nick is a husband and a father of three.  He and his family attend and serve at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cartersville, GA.

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Clift C. Dempsey, CCFE, CCrE CEO/Founder

Clift C. Dempsey, CCFE, CCrE is a third generation funeral professional having started his career at the young age of twenty years old selling cemetery arrangements for his family’s three cemeteries in Rome, Georgia. Mr. Dempsey quickly became involved in the professions state, regional and national associations learning more and more about the industry. 

 

While working full time for his family’s business Mr. Dempsey graduated from Shorter College in 1993 receiving a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration. Mr. Dempsey went on and held numerous Board of Director positions with the Georgia Cemetery Association, Southern Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association and the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. The first two associations Mr Dempsey is a Past President. Mr. Dempsey received his CCFE and CCrE designation which means he is recognized by the ICCFA to be a Certified Cemetery and Funeral Executive and Certified Cremation Executive for the contributions to his industry and to his community as well as the Quarter Century Award for his involvement in the funeral industry. Mr. Dempsey just graduated from the ICCFA University, an industry educational program in 2019.

 

In 2008 Mr Dempsey was appointed by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to become the first Chairman of the State Board of Cemeterians. This board regulates over 216 perpetual care cemeteries for the State of Georgia and oversees all regulatory and legislative matters. In 2013, Dempsey opened Georgia Cremation Centers which was renamed Leaf Cremation to serve families all over the State of Georgia with a low cost alternative to funeral expenses and to provide the best possible service to families choosing cremation. Dempsey has opened a new Leaf Cremation Center in Columbus, Ohio and plans to continue the growth throughout the United States. Dempsey currently serves on the Board of Directors of the ICCFA and is the Legislative Chairman for the Georgia Cemetery Association.

 

Mr. Dempsey is active in his local church being an ordained deacon and missions team leader. For over 13 years Mr. Dempsey has lead a mission team yearly to Sesheke, Zambia, Africa to help a church in this impoverished area of Africa. Mr. Dempsey earned his Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America and has been active in the scouting program his adult life. He is a graduate of the Adult Leadership Program of the Cartersville-Bartow Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Dempsey enjoys golf and spending time with his family.

 

Mr. Dempsey is married to Melanie and they have four children, Clifton, Pierce, Wyn and Mac, two grandsons, Charlie and Anderson and family pets, Baxter and Callie.

Brookle Hicks

Funeral Director | Leaf Arrangement Team
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Brookle was born in Marietta, Georgia to parents Clifford & Tammy Hicks.  She attended Sprayberry High School and shortly before graduating she turned her attention to the funeral service industry.  Brookle’s grandmother who she shared a close bond with passed away when Brookle was only 16 and her death led Brookle’s heart towards serving others in the funeral industry.

Upon graduating High School Brookle enrolled at Ogeechee Technical College’s Funeral Service Program.  She graduated from there in December of 2010 and after serving an apprenticeship obtained her funeral director and embalmer’s licenses in August of 2012.  In 2014 Brookle obtained her life insurance license in order to sell preneed insurance policies.  She is also certified as a crematory operator.  Before joining Leaf Brookle worked in the Marietta, Kennesaw and Acworth areas for over 13 years serving the community she grew up in. Brookle looks forward to continuing to serve families at Leaf.

She has been a life-long member at Piedmont Road Church of Christ in Marietta.  She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and she loves watching the Georgia Bulldogs play football.  Brookle is an animal lover and currently resides in Canton with her family and her dog Rawley.

Bryan Guzman

Leaf Arrangement Team Leader
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I have been with Leaf Cremation since 2016, and I am passionate about helping families honor their loved ones. I graduated from Kennesaw State University with a bachelors in Social Sciences. I enjoy my off time attending ATL United games, and spending time with my wife, family and friends. I am honored to be able to be a part of a great team here at Leaf, who take serving each family to a whole new level and serve with the utmost dignity, professionalism, respect, compassion and personalized service. We are here to help, however and whenever you need.

 

Certified Crematory Operator

Hunter Baggett

Leaf Arrangement Team
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Hunter grew up in Hoschton, GA and graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Science degree. He has 3 years of service working for Chick-fil-A, and two years in a leadership role. He enjoys time off by attending Atlanta Braves games, watching football (GO DAWGS!), and being with family and friends. Hunter looks forward to helping families through a difficult time, by making the arrangements of your loved one easy and effortlessly.

Todd Presley

Leaf Arrangement Team
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Hello! My name is Todd, and I was born and raised with love in Newnan, GA. I graduated from Newnan High and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of West Georgia. In my free time I enjoy being in nature and spending quality time with the people I love.

I'm lucky to have found Leaf Cremation, and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to make end-of-life planning as effortless as possible for those experiencing a loss. I’m here to help and hope to make a difference.

Mac Dempsey

Advance Planning Specialist
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Mac Dempsey graduated from Western Governors University with a degree in Marketing. He is the son of Clift Dempsey, owner of Leaf Cremation. He has a passion for serving families and dedicates himself to mak a positive impact on their lives. In his time off, Mac enjoys playing tennis, pickleball, and hanging out with family and friends.

Kerry Bender

Crematory Operator
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Kerry is Leaf's primary Certified Cremator Operator.  Serving families and their loved ones with the utmost care and dignity.

Doug Owens

Leaf Transport Specialist
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Kyle Gross

Community Relations Advisor
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Kyle serves as our Community Relations Advisor helping Hospices and other end-of-life facilities with the transfer of care to Leaf. He is a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Kyle also serves in the Army National Guard. He is married to Trisha and has two sons, Jonathan and William.

Pierce Dempsey

Vice President of Operations & Marketing
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Pierce graduated with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Family Business May of 2019 from Auburn University.  He is the son of Clift Dempsey, owner of Leaf Cremation.  Pierce has a passion for serving families, and is trained as a certified crematory operator, cremation arranger, and cremation administrator. In his time off, Pierce enjoys playing golf and spending time at the beach. Pierce and his wife, Ashley, are members of Mount Vernon Baptist Church. Pierce and Ashley celebrated the birth of their son this year!  

 

Certified Crematory Operator

 

 

Nick Startup

Vice President of Human Resources
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Nick is a graduate of the University of Georgia and started working in the Cemetery Industry with Clift Dempsey in 2010.  He is a Past President and current Treasurer of the Georgia Cemetery Association and also serves as a Director for the Southern Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association.  He has been involved with Leaf Cremation since its inception and is proud to be a part of such a wonderful team that serves families with kindness and compassion. Nick is a husband and a father of three.  He and his family attend and serve at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cartersville, GA.

Clift C. Dempsey, CCFE, CCrE

CEO/Founder
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Clift C. Dempsey, CCFE, CCrE is a third generation funeral professional having started his career at the young age of twenty years old selling cemetery arrangements for his family’s three cemeteries in Rome, Georgia. Mr. Dempsey quickly became involved in the professions state, regional and national associations learning more and more about the industry. 

 

While working full time for his family’s business Mr. Dempsey graduated from Shorter College in 1993 receiving a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration. Mr. Dempsey went on and held numerous Board of Director positions with the Georgia Cemetery Association, Southern Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association and the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. The first two associations Mr Dempsey is a Past President. Mr. Dempsey received his CCFE and CCrE designation which means he is recognized by the ICCFA to be a Certified Cemetery and Funeral Executive and Certified Cremation Executive for the contributions to his industry and to his community as well as the Quarter Century Award for his involvement in the funeral industry. Mr. Dempsey just graduated from the ICCFA University, an industry educational program in 2019.

 

In 2008 Mr Dempsey was appointed by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to become the first Chairman of the State Board of Cemeterians. This board regulates over 216 perpetual care cemeteries for the State of Georgia and oversees all regulatory and legislative matters. In 2013, Dempsey opened Georgia Cremation Centers which was renamed Leaf Cremation to serve families all over the State of Georgia with a low cost alternative to funeral expenses and to provide the best possible service to families choosing cremation. Dempsey has opened a new Leaf Cremation Center in Columbus, Ohio and plans to continue the growth throughout the United States. Dempsey currently serves on the Board of Directors of the ICCFA and is the Legislative Chairman for the Georgia Cemetery Association.

 

Mr. Dempsey is active in his local church being an ordained deacon and missions team leader. For over 13 years Mr. Dempsey has lead a mission team yearly to Sesheke, Zambia, Africa to help a church in this impoverished area of Africa. Mr. Dempsey earned his Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America and has been active in the scouting program his adult life. He is a graduate of the Adult Leadership Program of the Cartersville-Bartow Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Dempsey enjoys golf and spending time with his family.

 

Mr. Dempsey is married to Melanie and they have four children, Clifton, Pierce, Wyn and Mac, two grandsons, Charlie and Anderson and family pets, Baxter and Callie.